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May 19, 2005
Starcraft: Ghost - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
2006VivendiBlizzard / Nihilistic /
Swingin' Ape Studios
1-4$99.95

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Gorgeous flames.
Unless you're a PC gamer you would have never played Starcraft. Indeed Blizzard's game is one of the best real-time strategy games in recent years. It was a major shock then just prior to E3 2003 to heard that Starcraft: Ghost was not only coming to consoles, but that there wouldn't even be a PC version - despite the PC strategy game selling over 7 million units to date. As you can tell from the screenshots this is a very different game, however with developers Nihilistic (who were working on the game with Blizzard until recently) creating a third person action title.

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Notice anything strange...
You’re an evolutionarily advanced human with enhanced physical and psionic abilities. StarCraft: Ghost, Blizzard Entertainment’s upcoming tactical-action console game, refines the epic experience of StarCraft to the level of the individual soldier. Engage the StarCraft universe face-to-face as a deadly Ghost operative in the employ of the Dominion. With the help of determined allies, follow story-driven missions that take you from massive planetary battles through dangerous solo operations to an unexpected turn of events that leaves the fate of the universe in your hands.

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Driving in the vehicle.
In StarCraft: Ghost, players take part in the struggle for galactic domination as Nova, a deadly Ghost operative in the employ of the Dominion. Twenty years of ruthless physical conditioning and techno-psychological instruction have transformed Nova into a being of terrifying potential. As she progresses through a series of story-driven missions, Nova is required to engage in a number of dangerous infiltration operations and deadly planetary battles. To complete Nova's mission objectives, players must execute intelligent tactical decisions while mastering an advanced arsenal of sophisticated weaponry and Nova's own psionic abilities.

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What the hell...
In addition to utilizing Nova's special abilities to carry out covert operations, players can call in offsite support ranging from sophisticated identification sweeps to all-out tactical nuclear strikes. As they advance through the game, players will also have the ability to operate a number of vehicles unique to the StarCraft universe, including Goliath Combat Walkers and Arclite siege tanks. Also, to aid them in combat, players can go into a zoomed-in sniper mode from anywhere in any level, using Nova's modified C-20A canister rifle.

One of the big announcements at the 2005 E3 show is that the game will now include multi-player. Starcraft: Ghost will boast the usual collection of multiplayer modes, such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and King of the Hill. However, even these game modes will have a unique twist to them, to make them fit the theme of StarCraft and to inspire more strategic play. In addition to traditional game types and StarCraft-flavored variants, Ghost will also introduce an entirely new game mode that fits perfectly in the setting - Capture the Base. In fact the game is more or less Domination - where one team must capture an occupy a base and defend it against all attacks.

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Taking aim.
Starcraft: Ghost is one of those games that is likely to be simply brilliant, or downright disappointing. Fortunately at this stage of development, and the game still hasn't got a fixed release date despite being in development for several years, the game looks like being a stunner. The graphics are superb, the gameplay seems solid enough and the Starcraft universe is interesting enough to hold a good story. Interestingly Swingin' Ape Studios, who developed the very cool Metal Arms: Glitch in the System are now completing development of the title after Nihilistic was dumped/moved onto other projects. Expect a release in 2006 - hopefully!